MANILA, Philippines - The City of Manila has given 3 major oil firms until January 2016 to vacate the Pandacan oil depot.
Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno said the ordinance was unanimously approved by council members including members of the opposition.
According to Moreno, the ordinance gives Chevron, Petron and Shell a definitive time to prepare for their departure from the Pandacan area.
He said the main consideration is safety of the residents of the barangay and the city itself in case of a terrorist attack or huge fire.
Earlier attempts to evict the 3 major oil companies from Pandacan proved futile but the Supreme Court had already decided that the Manila local government has the power to re-zone areas under its jurisdiction.
The court also nullified the memoranda of understanding entered into by the previous administration to do some measures to prevent accidents or fires in the area.
Under the new ordinance, the area will be classified as commercial. Chervon has already issued a statement but Petron and Shell have yet to issue formal replies. Earlier Petron had announced it already has plans to start the relocation but Shell is still hoping to stay in Pandacan.
According to Moreno, there is already enough time for the Big 3 oil companies to vacate and find ways to mitigate any supply constraints that may occur with the transfer.
Metro Manila's fuel supply is all sourced from Pandacan.
When asked what happens if Mayor Alfredo Lim vetoes the ordinance, Moreno said the council will study his justifications for vetoing it but if they find it unsatisfactory, the council will be ready to override the mayor's veto.